OREMUS: 25 October 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Oct 24 20:24:32 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Wednesday, October 25, 2006 

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, tireless Guardian of your people,
you are always ready to hear the cry of your chosen ones;
you teach us to rely day and night on your care.
You impel us to seek your enduring justice
and your ever-present help
revealed in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever.

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 71

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;*
 let me never be ashamed.
In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free;*
 incline your ear to me and save me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe;*
 you are my crag and my stronghold.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,*
 from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
For you are my hope, O Lord God,*
 my confidence since I was young.
I have been sustained by you ever since I was born;
   from my mother's womb you have been my strength;*
 my praise shall be always of you.
I have become a portent to many;*
 but you are my refuge and my strength.
Let my mouth be full of your praise*
 and your glory all the day long.
Do not cast me off in my old age;*
 forsake me not when my strength fails.
For my enemies are talking against me,*
 and those who lie in wait for my life
   take counsel together.
They say, 'God has forsaken him;
   go after him and seize him;*
 because there is none who will save.'
O God, be not far from me;*
 come quickly to help me, O my God.
Let those who set themselves against me
   be put to shame and be disgraced;*
 let those who seek to do me evil
   be covered with scorn and reproach.
But I shall always wait in patience,*
 and shall praise you more and more.
My mouth shall recount your mighty acts
   and saving deeds all day long;*
 though I cannot know the number of them.
I will begin with the mighty works of the Lord God;*
 I will recall your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, you have taught me since I was young,*
 and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.
And now that I am old and grey-headed, O God,
   do not forsake me,*
 till I make known your strength to this generation
   and your power to all who are to come.
Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens;*
 you have done great things; who is like you, O God?
You have showed me great troubles and adversities,*
 but you will restore my life and bring me up again
   from the deep places of the earth.
You strengthen me more and more;*
 you enfold and comfort me,
Therefore I will praise you upon the lyre
   for your faithfulness, O my God;*
 I will sing to you with the harp, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will sing with joy when I play to you,*
 and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
My tongue will proclaim your righteousness all day long,*
 for they are ashamed and disgraced
   who sought to do me harm.

A Song of the Word of the Lord (Isaiah 55:6-11)

Seek the Lord while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near;

Let the wicked abandon their ways,
and the unrighteous their thoughts;

Return to the Lord,
who will have mercy;
to our God, who will richly pardon.

'For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways', says the Lord.

'For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

'As the rain and the snow come down from above,
and return not again but water the earth,

'Bringing forth life and giving growth,
seed for sowing and bread to eat,

'So is my word that goes forth from my mouth;
it will not return to me fruitless,

'But it will accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the task I gave it.'

Psalm 147:13-end

Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem;*
 praise your God, O Zion;
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;*
 he has blessed your children within you.
He has established peace on your borders;*
 he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth,*
 and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;*
 he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He scatters his hail like bread crumbs;*
 who can stand against his cold?
He sends forth his word and melts them;*
 he blows with his wind and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,*
 his statutes and his judgements to Israel.
He has not done so to any other nation;*
 to them he has not revealed his judgements.

FIRST READING [Job 41:12-34]:

'I will not keep silence concerning its limbs,
   or its mighty strength, or its splendid frame.
Who can strip off its outer garment?
   Who can penetrate its double coat of mail?
Who can open the doors of its face?
   There is terror all around its teeth.
Its back is made of shields in rows,
   shut up closely as with a seal.
One is so near to another
   that no air can come between them.
They are joined one to another;
   they clasp each other and cannot be separated.
Its sneezes flash forth light,
   and its eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.
>From its mouth go flaming torches;
   sparks of fire leap out.
Out of its nostrils comes smoke,
   as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
Its breath kindles coals,
   and a flame comes out of its mouth.
In its neck abides strength,
   and terror dances before it.
The folds of its flesh cling together;
   it is firmly cast and immovable.
Its heart is as hard as stone,
   as hard as the lower millstone.
When it raises itself up the gods are afraid;
   at the crashing they are beside themselves.
Though the sword reaches it, it does not avail,
   nor does the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
It counts iron as straw,
   and bronze as rotten wood.
The arrow cannot make it flee;
   slingstones, for it, are turned to chaff.
Clubs are counted as chaff;
   it laughs at the rattle of javelins.
Its underparts are like sharp potsherds;
   it spreads itself like a threshing-sledge on the mire.
It makes the deep boil like a pot;
   it makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
It leaves a shining wake behind it;
   one would think the deep to be white-haired.
On earth it has no equal,
   a creature without fear.
It surveys everything that is lofty;
   it is king over all that are proud.' 

Words: William Bright (1824-1901)
Tune: Song 24, Song 1, Unde et memores

1    And then for those, our dearest and our best,
     by this prevailing presence we appeal:
     O fold them closer to thy mercy's breast,
     O do thine utmost for their souls' true weal;
     from tainting mischief keep them white and clear,
     and crown thy gifts with strength to persevere.

2    And so we come: O draw us to thy feet,
     most patient Saviour, who canst love us still;
     and by this food, so aweful and so sweet,
     deliver us from every touch of ill:
     in thine own service make us glad and free,
     and grant us never more to part with thee.

SECOND READING [John 13:1-17]:

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart
from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he
loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon
Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all
things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up
from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured
water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel
that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, 'Lord, are you
going to wash my feet?' Jesus answered, 'You do not know now what I am doing, but
later you will understand.' Peter said to him, 'You will never wash my feet.' Jesus
answered, 'Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.' Simon Peter said to him,
'Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!' Jesus said to him, 'One who
has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are
clean, though not all of you.' For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he
said, 'Not all of you are clean.'
After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he
said to them, 'Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and
Lord and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have
washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have set you an
example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants
are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent
them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 

The Benedictus (Morning), 
the Magnificat (Evening), or 
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

We pray for the use of God's gifts to his Church, saying
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy, hear us

God our Father,
you give us gifts that we may work together
in the service of your Son:
Bless those who lead,
that they may be firm in faith, 
yet humble before you.
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us.

Bless those who teach,
that they may increase our understanding,    
and be open to your word for them:
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us. 

Bless those who minister healing,
that they may bring wholeness to other, 
yet know your healing in themselves:
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us. 

Bless those through whom you speak,
that they may proclaim your word in power,
yet have their ears open to your gentle whisper:
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us. 

Bless those who work in your world today
that they may live for you, fulfil your purposes,
and seek your kingdom first
in the complexity of their daily lives.
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us. 

Bless those who feel they have no gifts and are not valued,
and those who are powerless by the world's standards,
that they may share their experience
of the work of your Spirit.
Jesus, Lord of your Church:
in your mercy hear us. 

Guide and govern your holy Church, O Lord,
that it may walk warily in times of quiet
and boldly in times of trouble;
through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Grant us boldness to desire a place in your kingdom,
the courage to drink the cup of suffering,
and the grace to find in service
the glory you promise. Amen.

The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray),
(c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary Edition_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized
Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education
of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving and the closing prayer use phrases from a
prayer in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_.
Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

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